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‘How can we vote against our own govt?’: JD(U) on RS walkout during triple talaq bill

The JD (U), which has six Rajya Sabha members and is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alliance partner, both at the Centre and Bihar, facilitated the bill’s smooth passage by walking out of the House before it was taken up for voting.

patna Updated: Aug 01, 2019 14:57 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Muslim women offer sweets to each other as they celebrate the passage of triple talaq bill at Delhi BJP Office in New Delhi .
Muslim women offer sweets to each other as they celebrate the passage of triple talaq bill at Delhi BJP Office in New Delhi .(ANI)
         

Though differing with the BJP on various issues, a general consensus after the passage of the triple talaq bill is that the Janata Dal (U) has obliged the saffron brigade.

The JD (U), which has six Rajya Sabha members and is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alliance partner, both at the Centre and Bihar, facilitated the bill’s smooth passage by walking out of the House before it was taken up for voting.

JD (U)’s stance, in a way, has also put to rest speculations of a rift with BJP. But its move also came in for criticism from its opponents.

“They (JD-U) stands exposed. While on the one hand they had been opposing the bill but when it came to voting against it, they abstained,” said former union minister and Rashtriya Lok Sanmata Party chief, Upendra Kushwaha.

Countering criticism for his party’s alleged ‘double’ standards on the bill, JD (U)’s principal general secretary K C Tyagi said, “We are not against the BJP but we have disagreement on several issues. More importantly, how can we vote against our own government,” said Tyagi. “We never said that we will vote against the bill. We had made our stand clear to the BJP in the past. There was nothing to hide and it will have no impact on the alliance’s health,” he added.

Tyagi went on to add. “We took our ideological posture and ours was a dignified protest, and that is an old one, too. Our party president, Nitish Kumar had flagged JD (U)’s concern on the issue and had written to the Law Commission, three years back,” he argued.

The JD (U) leader said the party has also made its stand clear on other contentious issues like Article 35A, 370, the Ayodhya issue, etc. to the alliance partner and expects that their opinion would be taken care of while taking important decisions.

Several JD (U) leaders are of the view that the party opposed the bill and did not participate in the voting as there were differences of opinion on the issue in NDA itself. Secondly, the party felt that the bill should have been discussed with all political parties and a discussion could have also taken place among the stakeholders.

“We will toe the same line as far as other controversial issues are concerned. A solution can be found by winning the hearts,” said Tyagi.

Few JD (U) leaders said that the party had toed a different line on several issues since the days of the late Vajpayee government. “But now, what is written on the blackboard, is being read by all including us,” said a senior party leader, hinting at the brute majority of the BJP in Lok Sabha.

They said contradiction between its words and actions on this contentious legislation underlined its dilemma in Bihar where JD (U) wants to woo Muslims while being in partnership with the BJP.

“JD (U’s stance on triple talaq was a message to the minorities that the party was for them and by not voting against the bill in the Rajya Sabha, it was a message to BJP and other parties that the alliance between two parties was intact,” said DM Diwakar of AN Sinha Institute for Social Studies.

First Published: Aug 01, 2019 14:57 IST

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